Proposed changes to Online Safety Bill will not protect free speech 

Responding to the news that PM Rishi Sunak has ordered the Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan to ditch the “legal but harmful” clause and bring back the controversial Online Safety Bill back to the House of Commons before Christmas, [1] the Executive Director of the Open Rights Group, Jim Killock, said:

“This proposed change will not protect free speech. 

“It does nothing to stop the mass monitoring of private messages like WhatsApp proposed by this Bill.

“The privacy of 40 million chat users is threatened by this Bill. There will be constant surveillance of what they say and send.

“It will lead to age gating of platforms, and treating adults as children. Some sites may withdraw from the UK. 

“Machines will delete content and inevitably make mistakes.

“The real victims of censorship from this Bill will be the disadvantaged and minority communities the Bill claims to protect.” 



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Notes to editor